Lordaeron is a continent and a former human kingdom (aka Lordaeron Empire) of the Eastern Kingdoms. Its name comes from the three main Alliance race languages: "lorn" (in Dwarven) that means "land", "daer" (in Common) that means "people" and "ronae" (in Thalassian) that means peaceful. Lordaeron's capital city is also called Lordaeron. Originally one of the Seven Kingdoms to emerge during the collapse of Arathor, Lordaeron was ruled by the House of Menethil and provided refuge for the people of Stormwind following that kingdom's destruction at the end of the First War. During the Second War, Lordaeron spearheaded the first Alliance's campaign against the Orcish Horde, but was almost entirely consumed by the Scourge during the Third War. This former nation's territory is now contested between the Scourge, the Forsaken, and fragmented pockets of human resistance, most notably the Scarlet Crusade and the Argent Dawn.
City-State of ArathorEdit
Lordaeron was settled by the disenfranchised lords of Strom, capital of the nation of Arathor, who were part of a group that left Strom because they were desirous of the verdant lands to the north. The capital city served as a spiritual destination for the citizens of the seven human kingdoms.
The Alliance of LordaeronEdit
Following the opening of the Dark Portal, the nations of Azeroth and Khaz Modan were conquered by the Horde. The refugees from Azeroth, led by Lord Anduin Lothar, fled across the sea to Lordaeron. There, Lothar convinced the leaders of the human nations, as well as the dwarves of Ironforge, gnomes of Gnomeregan, and high elves of Quel'Thalas, to join forces in the Alliance of Lordaeron. Under the leadership of King Terenas Menethil II and Lord Lothar, the Alliance was victorious, pushing the Horde back to the Dark Portal, and destroying the gateway to the orcs' homeworld. Lothar fell in the assault on Blackrock Spire, and with the loss of his political skill, rifts developed between the Alliance nations. The main issue of dispute was a tax levied by King Terenas to finance the internment of the orcs. Though Lordaeron attempted to retain its central role, several nations pulled their support from the Alliance.
The Scourge of LordaeronEdit
Following years of debate over the internment of the orcs, a plague appeared in the north of Lordaeron. As it spread throughout the towns and cities of Lordaeron, one after another fell to the Scourge, most notably Andorhal and Stratholme. Finally, with the corruption of the heir to the throne of Lordaeron, Prince Arthas Menethil, the capital city itself succumbed. Arthas' captains Falric and Marwyn alone were responsible for the slaughter of the aristocracy. Thus, in an ironic twist of fate, it was Lordaeron that lay in ruins, with refugees streaming to Khaz Modan and Azeroth. Arthas briefly assumed the title of King, and ruled as an agent of the Scourge, before the eruption of a civil war between his forces, the remaining dreadlords, and the free undead led by Sylvanas Windrunner. Windrunner's forces, the Forsaken, achieved a victory over the dreadlords and Scourge, claiming the ruined former capital of Lordaeron (the "Ruins of Lordaeron"), under which they constructed the Undercity.
The remaining indigenous humans of Lordaeron may be broken down into three major groups, the Loyalists of Stormwind, the Scarlet Crusade and the Argent Dawn. The first are the folk of southern Lordaeron which have remained loyal to the Alliance, and have given their loyalty to the monarchy at Stormwind. These humans control three towns, scattered evenly across the southern regions of the nation. Southshore is the most important of these townships, and the only port north of the Thandol Span under Alliance control. To the north, nestled in the rolling foothills of Alterac lies the town of Hillsbrad, surrounded by the rich Hillsbrad Fields. The town controls an important mine on the coast, Azurelode Mine. Far to the west of these towns lies the town of Pyrewood Village, which receives it aid not from Stormwind, but from Dalaran. The town is friendly to the Alliance, but the dire curse laid upon it by the mage Arugal has prevented it from further integration. To the south of the town lies a refugee camp outside of the Greymane Wall, and its folk also support the Alliance.
The Scarlet Crusade hold lands scattered throughout northern Lordaeron, and are by far the most numerically well endowed of the human factions of the former kingdom. Nominally a part of the Alliance, they are so fearful of the undead that they will attack any individual on sight. They hold several key positions in the Tirisfal Glades, including farmlands in the west, and their great stronghold in the region, the Scarlet Monastery above the north coast. In the Western Plaguelands they control the entire northern part of the zone from Hearthglen. They also maintain a presence in Andorhal. In the Eastern Plaguelands they control Tyr's Hand, and still nominally control the Scarlet Enclave beyond, although it has become depopulated due to invasion by the Scourge, and migration to Northrend. Their capital lies at Stratholme, where they hold a portion of the city.
The Argent Dawn has bases throughout the Plaguelands, and is made up of those humans who have taken a more moderate approach to the war against the dead, accepting Horde and even Forsaken into their ranks. The Alliance has further strength in the region as well. A small high elven outpost can also be found near the bounds of the Ghostlands in the Eastern Plaguelands, Quel'Lithien Lodge. These elves have stayed committed to the Alliance, and are hostile to the Horde. Dalaranian troops also have a presence in southern Silverpine Forest. The Forsaken managed to take control of the heart of the old kingdom, claiming the Ruins of Lordaeron (and the Undercity beneath) as their base of operations. They use it to keep hold over much of the Tirisfal Glades, and control the towns Brill and Deathknell along the main east-west road of the region. They also control The Sepulcher in the center of Silverpine Forest, and the town of Tarren Mill in the Hillsbrad Foothills. The Syndicate, in an attempt to punish Lordaeron for its role in the fall of their kingdom of Alterac have taken the fortress of Durnholde Keep, and the surrounding countryside, although the Ravenholdt (a league of assassins) have attempted to curb their strength from their base at Ravenholdt Manor (Which also lies in former Lordaeron). Finally, the Undead Scourge holds Stratholme and Andorhal, as well as Scholomance in the southern Western Plaguelands. The Scourge are overwhelmingly the dominate force in much of Lordaeron, with a presence in all its zones except the Hillsbrad Foothills. On a side note, the mage Arugal controls large tracts of land in Silverpine Forest from Shadowfang Keep.